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Why Some International Businesses Struggle to Expand into the US

Posted by Ray Gonder

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Nov 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Why_Some_International_Businesses_Struggle_to_Expand_into_the_USSometimes, you don’t set out to create a multinational company. In other cases, an expansion becomes a serious consideration along the way. In either case, when the opportunity arises, many business owners jump at the chance.

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Not every business that expands into the US market succeeds, however, and this is true even of businesses that have already expanded successfully into other markets. The American market is often very different from the national market of a country such as the UK or France.

There are quite a few reasons international businesses might struggle as they expand into the United States. Here are a few of the most common ones, which you can avoid simply by being aware of them.


The Product or Service Doesn’t Translate

Some international businesses just don’t do proper market research before expanding into the US.

Even if you do your market research, however, the product or service may still fail to reach an American audience at large. The market may be quite limited or you may find initial enthusiasm quickly wanes.

This is very true for products and services from European cultures, where sensibilities are quite different.


You Don’t Adjust Your Marketing Plan

Another source of trouble for international businesses is getting the tone of marketing and advertising right for the American market. Again, culture plays a large role here. What appeals to consumers in the UK doesn’t necessarily translate for those in the US.

Odd ads and bungled marketing plans can turn even the best-planned expansion into a struggle.


You Didn’t Consider Logistics

The logistics of doing business in the United States is often one of the steepest learning curves from companies from countries like the UK or other, smaller markets. Not only is the US market larger, so too is the geographical space.

The end result is it can be much more difficult to deliver services and products in the United States. If you don’t properly consider logistics, you may find your business struggling to meet demand.


You Can’t Find the Right People to Staff Operations

It can be very difficult to find the right people to hire for your business, even in your home job market.

As you expand into the US, you’ll likely want to hire American employees. Without knowledge of the local job market, you may find you have even more trouble finding the right people.


You’re Not Aware of Employment Law

Do you know the employment legislation of your home country inside out? Chances are you’re familiar with most of the rules, but there are likely things even you don’t know.

If so, it’s reasonable to expect that you and your employees won’t know American employment law inside out either. You’re more likely to be caught unaware in the American market.

This can lead to penalties and audits, all of which cost more money and affect your bottom line. You can avoid these unsavory outcomes by both familiarizing yourself with the law and by working with a knowledgeable PEO.


You Struggle with Payroll

Another, more specific area of the law you’ll want to be aware of is payroll and remittances to the IRS. Again, mistakes in this area can cost you extra time, money, and frustration, as it can lead to penalties and audits. It can also result in costly errors.

Avoid this by working with a trustworthy PEO. They can help you expand your international business with ease and avoid some of the most common struggles you’ll encounter.


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Topics: Business Expansion

Ray Gonder

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